After a week of training, Sundhage will name 18 players to suit up for the game that will pit two participants from the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and should New Zealand earn Oceania’s lone berth to London, two of the 12 teams that will be at the this summer’s Olympics, as well. The match will kick off at 3 p.m. CT. More than 14,000 tickets have already been sold for the venue that seats 20,500 fans.
“It is always good to play a World Cup team,” said Sundhage. “There were many positives to take out of Olympic Qualifying in Canada and one of those was the depth of the team. We have many talented players and the challenge for the coaching staff will be figuring out the best combination of players as we continue to prepare for the Olympics. A good week of training in Texas, followed by match against a quality opponent like New Zealand, certainly helps in that process.”
Nineteen of the 20 players on the roster from Olympic qualifying will be in Texas, with the notable exception of defender Ali Krieger, who suffered tears to the MCL and ACL in her right knee in the first game of the tournament. Krieger will undergo surgery this week and begin her rehabilitation.
Tickets starting at $18 are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centres throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex (including Walmart and Fiesta stores). Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.
The match will be the ninth meeting between the countries, with the U.S. holding a 7-1-0 series edge. After a loss to New Zealand in Taiwan in 1987, the U.S. has won the next seven games in matchups that featured an average of five goals per game. The last meeting came at the 2008 Olympic Games, with Heather O’Reilly, Lloyd, Lindsay Tarpley and Angela Hucles scoring in a 4-0 win in the final group match of that tournament.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster:
Nicole Barnhart, Ashlyn Harris, Jill Loyden, Hope Solo
Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, Whitney Engen, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Kelley O’Hara, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn
Yael Averbuch, Shannon Boxx, Tobin Heath, Meghan Klingenberg, Lori Lindsey, Carli Lloyd, Kristie Mewis, Christine Nairn, Heather O’Reilly, Megan Rapinoe, Amy Rodriguez, Keelin Winters
Lauren Cheney, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach